Jofra Archer Takes Sensational Six Wickets As England Beat South Africa

Archer looked back to his best as he took 6-40
18:55, 01 Feb 2023

Jofra Archer is back. 

The English fast bowler took six sensational wickets for just 40 runs, his best figures in ODI, while Dawid Malan and Jos Buttler helped England recover from a nightmare start with the bat to win the final One Day International against South Africa. 

The hosts took the series 2-1, but this was a day that England showed their individual strengths after a shoddy start. Archer came up trumps with the ball as he returned to form, but victory looked unlikely after Buttler’s side were put into bat by their hosts and quickly wilted in the heat. 

Jason Roy never looked comfortable and was out for just one after he placed Lungi Ngidi’s delivery into the hands of Temba Bavuma. Ngidi struck again with his next ball as he bounced one at Ben Duckett, who could only touch the ball into the gloves of Heinrich Klaasen. 


The Nottinghamshire man was out for a duck from five balls, and England were reduced to 5-2. Harry Brook came in and left with just six runs to his name as the dangerous Ngidi struck again, removing Brook in the same manner that Duckett fell. 

The 14-3 nightmare start forced Buttler and Malan to take cover, and hold onto their wickets. Some fans had already written off any hope of success at the World Cup and progress was slow, but once they had reached the 30-over mark, they let loose. Malan rallied to hit 118 from 114 before being dismissed by Klaasen, while Buttler hit 131 from 127 before he was dismissed. 

Their partnership of 232 was England's fourth-highest in ODI history and from nowhere, England were given a chance - eventually posting 346-7 thanks to a late flurry (41 of 22) from Moeen Ali. It was a total that seemed impossible at the halfway stage, but these two rescued it - and Malan surely put himself on the plane to India for the World Cup with a performance as impressive as this.

Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow are expected to return for the World Cup, and Test captain Ben Stokes could join them. Three heroes from 2019 will be desperate to defend England’s crown, but they shouldn’t block out Malan. The best place could be for him to open alongside Bairstow, given the range of shots he showed today under immense pressure.

The World Cup chat will have to wait for another day though. Having set that 347 target, England made steady work of picking off the South Africans. The hosts reached 49 without loss before Temba Bavuma tamely chipped Chris Woakes’ delivery to Reece Topley at mid-off. The runs kept coming, but so did the wickets. 

Archer got back into the swing of things as he got rid of Rassie van der Dussen before Adil Rashid wonderfully span one through the legs of Reeza Hendricks who had hit 52 from 61. South Africa were 112 for the loss of three wickets and way ahead of England’s run rate after the visitors’ slow start. 

Aiden Markram, who had hit 39 from 35 and looked dangerous, absolutely skied an Archer delivery and was caught by Moeen Ali. South Africa 158-4. Then, he struck again when England needed him most. He got his length exactly right as David Miller nicked one to Buttler.

With 19 overs to go, England had reduced South Africa to 193-6, but then Klaasen and Wayne Parnell came in and got them moving again. They needed just 68 from 65 and Klaasen was hitting sixes all over the park, before Archer stepped up again to dismiss him on 80. 

It was a huge wicket for England who were on the ropes - yet with ten overs to go, South Africa only needed 68 runs - but they were wary of running out of wickets. Rashid took Sisanda Magala for just two runs, and England were back in control, before Archer then bowled Parnell and Ngidi to make history. 

No English bowler had ever taken six wickets in an ODI in South Africa before. 

For South Africa, it is a missed chance to leapfrog the West Indies in the Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League standings. They need a top eight finish in order to automatically qualify for the tournament, but this defeat sees them remain in ninth spot, nine points off the WI. 

For England, it's the return of Archer when they need him most. He's so graceful when he bowls and England simply have nobody else like him. If this series was just about getting him back to his best, it was absolutely worthwhile. 

*18+ | Be Gamble Aware 

England are 3/1 to win the World Cup with Betfred*
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